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Tax Cases vs Earners

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Oft quoted statistics about income distributions and income tax are just plain wrong as they treat dual-income married couples as single tax payers notwithstanding an established trend towards tax individualisation. This has the effect of completely ignoring about 400,000 earners and overstating the taxable incomes of their spouses by approximately one-third.

Dual-income married couples are highly significant as their average income, based on Revenue data for 2005, was €70,000 as compared with €27,000 for all other tax cases. They accounted for about 36% of all income and 41% of all income tax notwithstanding that they represented only 17% of tax cases.
 
If the incomes of dual-income married couples are divided in the ratio 65/35 then the overall distribution of incomes is radically altered. By my reckoning, the number with gross incomes under €40,000 in 2008 would increase from 1.48 million tax cases to 2.25 million earners, a jump of 52%, and the number with gross incomes above €40,000 would decline from 0.89 million tax cases to 0.52 million earners.

This redistribution has huge implications for any proposals to bring more low-paid earners into the tax net because they are earning substantially less than suggested by official figures, or for increasing the tax take from high earners who are less numerous than reported in Revenue statistics.

My 11-page report with tables and charts can be downloaded at revenue_tax_cases.pdf  

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This page contains a single entry by Brian published on December 8, 2009 5:26 PM.

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